Ligonier Valley pitcher Maddie Griffin commits to Youngstown State

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Saturday, August 28, 2021 | 10:59 AM


A slightly crumpled piece of paper is far from a national letter of intent, but it sure meant a lot to Maddie Griffin when she was a big-dreaming middle schooler.

“I still have the paper I wrote my future goals on from fifth grade,” said Griffin, a star softball pitcher at Ligonier Valley. “The paper had some crazy stuff on it, but playing softball competitively in college felt like the most unrealistic.”

The letter of intent will come later.

Griffin accomplished at least one of her goals — so far. The senior made a verbal commitment Friday to play Division I softball at Youngstown State.

“This has been my biggest dream since I was 10 years old,” said Griffin, who pitched 11 no-hitters and led the Rams to a PIAA runner-up finish last season. “When I was 10, I would watch the speed and the size of the girls and think that I would never be able to get there. It’s honestly a trip to be here because I have had this dream for so long.”

As for those other goals?

“I wanted to be a forensic scientist, even though I hated science,” the candid Griffin said. “For some reason, my 10-year-old self was obsessed with IUP. At the time I had never even thought about college so it might have been the only college I have heard of, to be honest.

“I wanted to go skydiving in Australia. I still want to do that, but thinking about a 10-year-old asking their parents to go skydiving in Australia is really funny to me.”

Don’t put it past the strong-willed Griffin to do anything.

An all-state player in Class 2A, she was dominating in the Rams’ debut season in the WPIAL. Ligonier Valley had played for years in District 6.

Griffin went 19-3 with 316 strikeouts and allowed just eight earned runs all season. She tossed four perfect games.

Griffin said she talked with a few other schools but liked Youngstown State for multiple reasons.

“I chose YSU because I loved the campus, facilities and coaches,” she said. “I wanted to go to a competitive program that will challenge me academically and athletically. I was talking to a few other coaches, and they were awesome, but there was the problem of distance, class size or price. All of these things were perfect for me at YSU.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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